The coffee ceremony was a crucial social interaction among Zakharans. All Zakharans, from a wealthy Al-Hadhar all the way to a free-roaming Al-Badia, were appraised by their peers for their coffee-making. Unless a woman was the master of the house or tent, this was typically a man's responsibility.[1]

Al-Badia treated this tradition with the utmost importance. Where nobles from the city would often delegate the coffee-making tasks to servants, Al-Badia cherished the hands-on responsibility themselves.[1]

The actual ceremony began when a host sat before a small hollow of sand and lit a fire, usually fueled by camel dung. The host would then spread all of their coffee-making equipment out before them, including two coffee pots—one battered and one polished. During this time the host would engage in light conversation with their guests, though being careful to avoid questions about their health or business since that would be considered rude behavior.[1]

The host then proceeded to make the coffee in the battered pot, only transferring it to the newer pot when it was as black as night. Pouring the coffee required several basic steps. The host always poured with their left hand according to etiquette. The host would then take the first sip of coffee, proving to their guests that it was not poisoned. Only then did the host serve the guests, beginning with the eldest and working down by age.[1]

Many Al-Hadhar enjoyed passing around a tenser filled with frankincense following the coffee, allowing their guests to breathe deep of the pleasing aroma. This custom was also observed among the Al-Badia, but only by sheikhs. Passing the tenser signaled the guests that it was time to retire for the evening. Al-Hadhar would pass the tenser even after brief visits of fifteen minutes, a tradition considered extremely rude by all Al-Badia who enjoyed long visits with their guests.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 978-1560763291.